Hulu to up the Ante in 2012 with $500M of Content

Hulu, the video streaming service, intends to spend approximately $500 million on content in 2012.

Content on Hulu’s free service has maintained a steady 40 percent growth rate each year. In contrast, content on Hulu Plus has more than doubled.

An announcement from Hulu stated the advantages of their company over its increasingly competitive rivals:

Our model [of free and paid upselling] allows us to profitably pay content owners approximately 50% more in content licensing fees per subscriber when compared to other similarly priced online subscription services.

Hulu Plus, Hulu’s paid streaming service, now boasts more than 1.5 million users. Furthermore, the daily rate of signups in 2011 grew to twice what it was in 2010. With an increasing growth rate, and the company’s push into Japan, 2012 could be a very big year for Hulu. It is noteworthy, and hopefully not a sign of things to come, that Hulu Japan has very little free content.

Hulu’s owners tried to offload the company last year, but it failed to sell. As a result of this failure, it is looking more and more likely that we will see an IPO sometime in 2012.